From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Mon Jun 25 2007

Part of an exhibition honouring the state visits of the Hillery Presidency has been placed on display at The Sweeney Memorial Library in Kilkee.

‘From There To Here: The State Visits Of The Hillery Presidency’ features four text panels and a small number of artefacts, including two hand painted plates from a set presented to Dr. Patrick Hillery in Japan and a paperweight he received from US President Ronald Regan during a visit to Ireland in 1984. The exhibition runs until the end of September.

The Exhibition originally displayed at Clare Museum between November 2005 and February 2006. It featured six text panels and numerous artefacts relating to state visits made and received by President Hillery during his two terms as Head of State between 1976 and 1990.

According to John Rattigan, Curator, Clare Museum, "Since the summer of 2000, Clare Museum has received in instalments, a large collection of presentations and gifts made to Dr Patrick Hillery while carrying out his public duties during a political career, which spanned from 1951-1990. These now form part of one of the most successful exhibitions ever hosted by Clare Museum."

Commenting on the exhibition’s temporary move to Kilkee, Mr. Rattigan said, "Although Clare Museum is based in Ennis, our countywide service has enabled the people of Shannon to visit the exhibition on their doorstep. Although space limitations mean that some artefacts cannot be displayed on this occasion, most of the objects from the exhibition can be viewed on line at the library, where there is free access to the Clare Museum website. Electronic version of the text panels can be viewed www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/claremuseum/projects/community.htm."

Dr. Hillery welcomed over a dozen heads of State to Ireland during his two terms of Presidency. They included Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (1978); His Excellency Francois Mitterand, President of France (1988); The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Japan (1985); His Excellency Chaim Hertzog, President of Israel (1985); His Excellency Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua (1989); Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (1990); His Excellency Dr. Carl Carstens, President of the Federal Republic of Germany (1980); and His Holiness Pope John Paul II (1979).

The former President made a similar number of official visits abroad. They included attending the funerals of Yugoslavia’s President Tito (1980); USSR Presidents Bresnev (1982), Andropov (1984) and Chernenko (1985); Egyptian President Sadat (1981); Princess Grace of Monaco (1982); and Emperor Hirohito of Japan (1989).

He also made officially visits abroad to address the Parliamentary Assembly Of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (1985), accept the Robert Schumann Gold Medal in Metz (1986), attend the Bicentennial Celebrations of the French Revolution (1989), and attend the enthronements of Pope John Paul I (1978) and Pope John Paul II (1978).

Other countries visited by Dr. Hillery during State Visits were India (1978), Tanzania (1980), Bahrain (1980), Denmark (1983), New Zealand (1985), Australia (1985), Austria (1986) and China (1988).

Today, Dr Hillery resides in Dublin with his wife, Maeve.

‘From There to Here: the state visits of the Hillery Presidency’ is now open to the public and may be viewed at The Sweeney Memorial Library 1.30-5.30pm, 6-8pm on Monday and Wednesday, and 10.00am-1.30pm, 2.00-5.30pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Further information on ‘From There to Here: the state visits of the Hillery Presidency’ is available from The Sweeney Memorial Library, O'Connell Street, Kilkee on 065-9056034. Alternatively please contact Clare Museum on 065-6823382.


Notes to Editor:
- John Rattigan, Curator, Clare Museum is available for interview and can be contacted at 065-6823382 or 087-2065404. Alternatively, please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or media@dunphypr.com
- The Sweeney Memorial Library was founded in the 1950's with money bequeathed from Dr. William J. Sweeney, Union City, New Jersey whose grandfather was born in Kilkee in 1833.
- Patrick John Hillery was born on 2 May 1923, in Miltown Malbay, County Clare. The son of Michael Joseph Hillery and Ellen McMahon, he attended Miltown Malbay National School before going on to Rockwell College for his secondary education. At third level he attended University College Dublin and when he graduated, with a degree in medicine in 1947, he returned to Miltown Malbay where he worked as a doctor, like his father had done before him. First elected at the 1951 General Election as a Fianna Fáil TD for Clare, he remained in Dáil Éireann until 1973. During this time he served as Minister for Education (1959-1965), Minister for Industry & Commerce (1965-1966), Minister for Labour (1966-1969) and Minister for External Affairs (1969-1973). In 1973 he was appointed Ireland's first European Commissioner, serving until 1976 when he was appointed President.
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Mark Dunphy
Contact Email: media@dunphypr.com
Contact Phone: 00353-868534900

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